Birth of the CAT

Isaac Newton's idea for a reflecting telescope was a brilliant one, but it was not long before other scientists and optical tinkerers began to find ways to improve on it. The reflecting telescope designs that have appeared over the last 400 years since Sir Isaac's "Newt" was born are often so different from his original concept that the only thing they seem to have in common with it is that they use mirrors instead of lenses to produce images. Two of these alternate designs, one that appeared shortly after Newton brought forth his telescope, and one that did not come around until the twentieth century, are the direct ancestors of today's Schmidt Cassegrains. These scopes are, as you might have guessed, the Cassegrain telescope and the Schmidt camera.

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